Some vegetables and natural products are described as ‘super foods’ for good reason. They protect your health, provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly and help keep your vital organs in good condition. But did you know that some super foods are even more powerful when combined together?
The concept of food synergy recommends that you should not only eat plenty of nutrient-rich products, but also ensure that you understand how the properties contained within certain foods interact with one another. This way, you can ensure you benefit from as much goodness as possible! Here are 8 great examples of super foods that you should consider pairing for added health benefits!
1. Tomatoes & Olive Oil
Why are they such a good combo: Olive Oil increases the antioxidant properties of tomatoes.
Tomatoes and Olive Oil provide individual health benefits that are enhanced when they are paired together. A Study by Free Radical Biology and Medicine found that people who ate tomato dishes with extra virgin oil benefited from more of the antioxidant properties of the lycopene found in tomatoes. That’s good enough to enjoy bruschetta more often, or sauté your tomatoes in olive oil before adding them to a pasta dish.
2. Whole Grains with Onions & Garlic
Why are they such a good combo: Garlic and onion help the body absorb essential nutrients from whole grain.
The iron and zinc found in whole grain is hugely beneficial to your health, but the biological make-up of grain is such that these essential nutrients metabolize faster than your body can ingest them and put them to use. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that both garlic and onion are great at encouraging uptake of the minerals found in grain, so should be paired with it where possible. You can either bake garlic into fresh bread, or just add a decent dose of onion to your sandwiches!
3. Dark Chocolate & Apples
Why are they such a good combo: Complimentary minerals from each work together to break down blood clots.
Treat your sweet tooth with a double dose of dessert by pairing apples with dark chocolate. Together they have the potential to improve heart health because apples (particularly their skin) contain amounts of quercetin, and flavonoid an excellent anti-inflammatory; while dark chocolate is full of catechins that help stop the arteries from hardening. The complimentary properties of these substances have been shown to help destroy blood clots and lower the risk of heart disease, according to dietitian Melissa Rifkin of the Montefliore Medical Center in New York. So simply dip your apple slices in some sumptuous melted chocolate or make chocolate-apple cookies, but remember to choose dark chocolate as it contains 6 times as many catechins than milk chocolate.
4. Kale & Almonds
Why are they such a good combo: Almonds provide the healthy fat that helps the body absorb the vitamin E from kale.
Kale is a well-known super food and among its many nutrients is vitamin E, the powerful anti-oxidant that promotes a healthy heart, strong immune system and glowing skin. However, it is also fat-soluble, meaning that it can only be absorbed by the body if it has some fat to help it along. Of course, you would only want heart-healthy monosaturated fat to aid this process, and almonds are one of the best sources of that. So sprinkle some almonds on a kale-based salad or eat some alongside your latest vegetable dish.
5. Turmeric & Black Pepper
Why are they such a good combo: Piperine in black pepper helps you absorb the extremely healthy curcumin in turmeric.
The incredible health benefits of turmeric are increasingly well-known, and most of them originate from the amount of curcumin contained within the spice. Curcumin is a really powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic, so it’s one of the very best substances you can feed your body. However, it is another compound that is metabolized really quickly, so it’s good to give your body a helping hand so it can absorb it successfully. Research has shown that the piperine in black pepper improves the bioavailability of curcumin by as much as 1,000 times, so you get a huge, healthy boost from pairing to two. A teaspoon of black pepper can be easily added to most turmeric dishes, so it’s easy to create a combination.